In the third week of the spring semester, HSU held an open forum for the final four candidates for the vice president of administration and finance position. The school welcomed students, faculty and staff to join the live Zoom meetings to meet the finalists who were selected by the search committee.
The vice president for administration and finance is responsible for reporting to the university president and in collaboration with colleagues across the campus, the incumbent is responsible for the administrative leadership, management, and oversight of the university’s division of administration and finance.
Each candidate had one hour via Zoom to present their resumes, answer questions and explain their intended approach to the position.
Candidate Sharooz Roohparvar elaborated on his transparency in handling school budgets and putting student interests first.
“I believe that my position and everything in the institution is subject to public records requests, so there’s no reason for anybody to keep anything hidden,” Roohparvar said. “I start every conversation with how does this initiative serve students? And how does it improve that college going experience? Really at the end of the day, we’re here to serve those students.”
Andrew Boyd, another contender, put an emphasis on his prior work at Humboldt State University in the design department, dealing with financing projects and environmental impact on campus.
“There’s so many opportunities at Humboldt State to think creatively around how we set up the ecosystem and how to partner with the town of Arcata,” Boyd said. “Ideas for strategic planning or where we are in leaning into that is something that I think is critical for the growth of the institution is something that I would look to try to facilitate as a CFO.”
Candidate Doreen Ferrington shared how her experience at John Hopkins School of Public Health in the dean’s office and as business operations officer at the Architect of the Capitol has led to her diversity in dealing with different groups including staff, students and faculty.
“I had the opportunity to interact with a variety of individuals across the university and it enabled me to understand university operations and the pain points that each division was experiencing at that time,” Ferrington said. “I can reach out to faculty, I can talk to students, I can walk the hallway and talk to talk to the staff about their experiences. I can go to the cafeteria or the dorms and see what it’s like for the students to be on campus and I can engage.”
Kathy J. Johnson, Vice President for Finance & Administration at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota reiterated her understanding of the school systems and student success.
“I’ve been a part of students earning nearly 12,000 degrees in my tenure. I love higher education and all the opportunity and hope it provides to the students.” Johnson said. “I lead the division, with full focus on students from ensuring they have the proper resources and learning materials available in the university bookstore. To the best technology infrastructure and classroom technology, we can afford a safe, clean, diverse, inclusive, and sustainable campus.”
With HSU receiving $16 million in funding via the CARES Act, eyes are on the administration to use the money responsibly. $5 million has been allocated to students experiencing financial burden while the other $11 million is to be distributed in school funding for classes, faculty and staff.
With the election of a new vice president for administration and finance, the candidatewho gets the job will be responsible for overseeing the distribution of funds to benefit the future of the school.
“The funds are an incredible resource for our campus to enhance safety protocols, evolve instructional space and technology, expand student support, and improve operational efficiencies in ways which can innovate how we teach, learn, work and engage,” Sherie C. Gordon, Interim Vice President for Administration & Finance, said.